The governor was in my district for a “town hall meeting” last week in Farmingdale, echoing talking points from the letter he has sent lawmakers instead of delivering the State of the State address this year.

Disappointingly, these talking points seem more about election-year politics than the pressing issues facing Maine. Often they are not even rooted in fact.

An example is the escalating drug crisis. Five people die every week from drug overdose in Maine. The governor has said repeatedly his plan to address it is coming. His State of the State letter even said so. But it’s mid-February and we still haven’t seen his plan. I was surprised at the town hall meeting to hear him back off completely and tell the audience that it was up to the Legislature to submit bills, not him! I had to read his own words back to him before he understood why I was expecting him to submit to the Legislature a “comprehensive” plan of attack to combat our state’s drug crisis!

Meanwhile, lawmakers have already crafted and passed a bipartisan emergency drug crisis measure to boost law enforcement, treatment and prevention efforts. This was a critically important first step, and we continue to work on other bills to address the crisis.

The governor also seemed confused about the tax conformity bill. That very morning, the House had passed tax relief for homeowners, students, teachers and small businesses. We also added $23 million to public education to prevent a cost-shift to property taxpayers.

If the governor is serious about doing what’s right for our state, I invite him to take a break from the campaign trail and join us at the State House, where he still has a chance to be a part of the Legislature’s work to move Maine forward.

Rep. Gay M. Grant

(D-Gardiner)